You are here:

Ferrets/Ferret allergies?


My 4 year old male ferret has just developed watery puffy eyes and bumps all over his body.  His appetite is fine and he is drinking and using the bathroom normally.  The only other out of the ordinary things I have noticed is occasional sneezing and he has not been sleeping in his hammock but instead on the floor or shelf of his cage. This has only been since the summer that he hasn't slept in his hammock and it is fur lined.  My husband has been taking him out to play in the yard so I don't know if maybe he has an allergy issue or what.  Any advice?

PLEASE have this ferret examined by an exotics vet as soon as possible.  This situation is far too urgent to get a reply from the internet.  Your ferret will need a thorough exam and blood tests to determine the cause of these symptoms.  It is very possible he could be extremely ill, however, so I recommend you get him
In as soon as possible. There are several things that can cause these symptoms, but since they are so serious I would do your ferret a disservice to even attempt a diagnosis. I apologize but it id just not fair to him to attempt to diagnose this with lack of information.  The symptoms you describe could very well be life threatening and he needs a thorough hands on exam immediately. Ferrets can go from 'normal' to dead in a short time.  Your ferret appears to be far from
normal, so I hope and pray you will take this advice seriously and act immediately.  Until you can get him to a vet on Monday, as long as he does not develop further symptoms, you may give him CHILDRENS LIquid benedryl drops 5ml every 6-8 hours to try to relieve some of the swelling. Also, be sure he is eating and drinking fresh water regularly.  Feed warmed chicken or turkey MEAT ONLY baby food from
your fingertip if he is not eating regularly.  Any change in symptoms, stopping eating/drinking/pooping/peeing, please find any emergency vet who can infuse subcutaneous fluids (under the skin) to hold him over till Monday.  You might also want to give him a warm bath in Johnsons Baby Shampoo (rinse twice) to remove any allergens in his fur/eyes.  These suggestions will only help IF his symptoms are due to allergy (somewhat unusual, but worth a try).put clean blankies on his bed, remove and wipe put any dust from any wood shavings or other bedding other than clean blankies.  Wood shavings or other bedding can cause eye swelling/infections, etc.   Let him get lots of gentle cuddling, rocking in rocking chair, basically treat h as a sick child, treat symptoms until he gets a good diagnosis.  You will be lucky if it is only an allergic reaction.

Best of luck to you and him.  I will have you both in my thoughts and prayers.  Would you please update me after your vet visit?

Jacquie Rodgers


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jacquie Rodgers


PLEASE READ ALL BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS... WHAT I CAN DO: Being a ferret owner for 20 years, I can answer questions re: general care, cage ideas & requirements, healthy foods and snacks, safety issues, ferretproofing play areas, common causes of intestinal blockages, appropriate housing, litterbox training, making bathtime fun, toys, games galore, outdoor trips, "Do`s and Don'ts, traveling w/ferrets by car or RV, safe environmental temperatures & keeping your ferret cool in summer (NOT A FAN!!), setting up a hospital cage, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), helicobacter (ulcers), adrenal disease symptoms & care,intestinal blockages, helping your ferret recover quickly/safely from surgery; common problems of ferret ownership, illnesses; care of sick or injured ferrets, hospice/palliative care, facing & coping with your ferret's death, choices that must be made when a ferret dies, memorializing your pet online and in your daily life. #1 TIP: FIND AN EXOTICS VET BEFORE YOU GET A VET...IF YOU WAIT, YOU MAY FIND YOU HAVE TO DRIVE UP TO 6-HRS TO GET TO A PROPER VET!..if you did not find one first, be WILLING to drive as far as possible for proper care. AND.... #2 TIP: FERRETS ARE EXPENSIVE TO FEED, HOUSE, VET & CARE FOR PROPERLY...IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ONE/OR NOT READY TO SACRIFICE, PLEASE DON'T GET ONE!! A FERRET IS NOT LIKE HAVING A CAT OR DOG!! THEY REQUIRE MORE TIME, ENERGY, CARE AND MONEY to properly care for them. Prepare to spend up to $8,000-$10,000 OVER A FERRETS LIFETIME (6 to 8 years usually) FOR NECESSITIES & VET CARE. WHAT I CAN`T DO: I can`t take the place of your ferret vet; if your ferret appears sick,PLEASE have your ferret examined by a ferret vet .TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE FOR A SICK FERRET - PLEASE, IF IN DOUBT, GET THEM TO A VET! 24- hours of a ferret not eating/drinking may kill your ferret! NEVER FORCE FEED A SICK..he may choke. Sub-Q or IV fluids from your vet who is not eating WILL help save his life IF he gets it in time.


I have nursed ferrets through many illnesses, an injury, and a variety of diseases over the years.Ferrets are so very delicate, yet incredibly strong-willed; a well-loved ferret will fight courageously to live if given proper medical care, close monitoring, and especially lots of TLC.& LOVE. A ferret can entertain for hours on end when they know they are the center of attention; and they can make even the grumpiest person laugh. They do require a LOT of time, love and daily care, but the love you give a ferret always comes back to you tenfold OR MORE!! I dedicate the time I spend helping others here to my precious little ones who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge. They taught me how to laugh, to love unconditionally....and how to live each & every day to its fullest, and for that I am forever grateful.


Yuma Daily Sun (local newspaper) recognition for being an outstanding ferret mom and having incredibly well-trained ferrets. I am currently working on book of ferret care to share my experience. JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK:!/groups/thundering.ferret.paws/ for faster answers to your questions and input from other experienced ferret owners. Lots of past questions answered on that you can still reference by category. If you don't find your answer there, please submit it and I will be happy to help you :-)

I read everything I can get my hands on regarding ferrets, I learn from my great Exotics Vet, and my own experience and interactions with other ferret owners. I am writing a book on ferret care (Great Need for a CORRECT one!) never rely on a ferret book OR a website when your ferret is sick. I can help with suggestions to use IN CONJUNCTION with proper care by your exotics specialist vet (ASK when you call for an appointment whether or NOT your vet has EXPERIENCE in working with EXOTICS..if not, move on and continue to seek one. The wrong vet can KILL your ferret. I learned this early when my ferret hurt his front paw jumping off the couch...a vet, NOT EXOTICS SPECIALIST couln't handle ferret properly because he was afraid of the ferret...and ended up xraying THE WRONGBARM, telling me it was not hurt. I took xray & ferret to EXOTICS SPECIALIST VET 3-hrs away & found out the arm WAS BROKEN & wrong arm had been xrayed. THAT is how important it is to have a PROPERLY TRAINED VET FOR YOUR FERRET!

Awards and Honors
WANT TO BE A FERRET EXPERT? I serve as the resident "guru" for this category. IF YOU WISH TO VOLUNTEER IN THE FERRET CATEGORY, please email me at and request an application. All volunteers must complete a general ferret information questionaire to be a volunteer in this category. Thanks for your cooperation :-)

Past/Present Clients
I try to educate anyone who is interested in ferrets, as I take my ferrets with me in public a lot. There is a lot of MISinformation out there about ferrets that needs to be dispelled with fact, and ferret owners who need to be keep abreast of the latest and best information. FACEBOOK FERRET GROUP (OPEN): THUNDERING FERRET PAWS - Join us as we all share our pictures, stories & experience!! :-)

©2016 All rights reserved.